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The growth of your dental service organization (DSO) can really take a hit if you choose the wrong C-suite candidates to lead and manage your organization.


#1 Hiring Too Quickly

Hiring too quickly is the number one executive hiring problem we witness at Fidler and Associates. DSOs feel the need to relieve workload pressure as fast as possible, so many times we see them hiring someone to fill the spot who is not the best person for that role. This delays the work getting done, can result in costly re-dos, disrupts team alignment, and can even cause HR nightmares. It’s best to take time to search for the most appropriate candidates, vet them well, and onboard the one who has proven they can do the job and is the best fit for the role he or she will be performing in your DSO culture and structure. Expecting highest performance without an onboarding process to familiarize the new hire fully with your operations and vision is also a sign of moving too quickly. Allowing time to settle in, providing information, and establishing lines of supportive communication are all part of C-suite hiring.  The best candidates will have the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to pick up from there and take your organization to a higher level. 


#2 Employing Family or Friends

The goal of the C-suite team is to help you establish processes and systems that are going to help you scale. Entrepreneurial dentists sometimes have another goal, which is to help a family member or friend who needs a position. The two goals are rarely compatible. You might well hire a niece to handle the petty cash, but that doesn’t mean she has the ability to serve as the DSO’s financial controller.

When a DSO hires a friend or family member who is not well suited for the function for which they were hired, business and personal relations eventually come into conflict.  Sometimes a friend or family member can help for a while until you hire the right C-suite person but set that expectation.


#3 Over-Promoting a Current Employee

Giving a current employee an executive title can set false expectations. This commonly happens when a long-time employee deserves a reward and business finances limit the compensation that can be given. Calling a bookkeeper a VP signals they are at a controller level, and when you arrive at the stage where you need to actually hire someone who has the skills of a chief financial officer, you may delay out of concern that repositioning your long-term employee will be demoralizing and lead to a vacancy on the team.


#4 Under-Paying

Everybody wants the perfect candidate. They want the Wharton business background with ten years of experience in the field. But few want to compensate their C-suite hire at the level this candidate can demand. Keep in mind that good employees are people who have a proven track record of success, and that means they’re going to cost more. Weigh your options carefully and lean towards hiring someone who will grow your DSO.


#5 Narrowing the Candidate Search

Don’t be so rigid in your requirements that you miss candidates with crossover skills that could really add something to your organization. Someone who has C-suite experience gained in the dermatology or ophthalmology industries may be an excellent candidate.


Would you like to connect with the right candidates for you?

Avoiding pitfalls like the five presented above will help your business grow faster and more smoothly. You don’t want to stall growth by making mistakes or not being able to connect with good candidates. Fidler and Associates is an executive search and advisory firm specializing in connecting dental practice owners with the right candidates. They offer customized solutions tailored to the specific needs of their clients.  

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